A bearing damper, operating on the support flexure of a pivoted pad in a tilting-pad type gas-lubricated journal bearing, has been designed, built, and tested under externally applied random vibrations. A 36,000 rpm, 10 Kwe turbogenerator had previously been subjected to external random vibrations, and vibration response data had been recorded and analyzed for amplitude distribution and frequency content at a number of locations in the machine. Based upon data from that evaluation, a piston-type damper was designed and developed for each of the two flexibly-supported journal bearing pads (one in each of the two three-pad bearings). A modified turbogenerator, with dampers installed, has been retested under random vibration conditions. Root-mean-square vibration amplitudes were determined from the test data, and displacement power spectral density analyses have been performed. Results of these data reduction efforts have been compared with vibration tolerance limits and previously reported response characteristics of the unmodified machine. Results of the tests indicate significant reductions in vibration levels in the bearing gas-lubricant films, particularly in the rigidly mounted pads. The utility of the gas-lubricated damper for limiting rotor-bearing system vibrations in high-speed turbomachinery has thus been demonstrated.

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